Secrets of the Dead "Escape from Auschwitz"

Secrets of the Dead "Escape from Auschwitz"

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 9:00pm

Pictured: Actors portraying Vrba and Wetzler

Credit: Kate Cook

The first documentary entirely dedicated to the story of Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler’s heroic efforts to expose Nazi atrocities and save lives.

Auschwitz was Hitler’s largest concentration camp. Nazi records show that tens of thousands of Jews from German-occupied territories were sent there to be executed each month; by 1944, 12,000 Jews a day were being murdered inside its barbed wire fences. This appalling massacre was one of Germany’s most heavily guarded secrets, carefully concealed from the outside world. But two Auschwitz prisoners, Rudolph Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, were determined to expose the horrors of the Nazi genocide and stop the killing factories forever. To do that, they had to escape from the heavily guarded camp. Others had tried, but all had been captured and publicly executed.

Vrba’s and Wetzler’s extraordinary story unfolds on SECRETS OF THE DEAD “Escape From Auschwitz,airing Thursday, April 19 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524). The film, shot in Hungary, juxtaposes re-enactments with provocative archival footage and insightful survivor and historian accounts. Actor Liev Schreiber (“CSI”; The Manchurian Candidate) narrates.